Rigorous and reliable operations for electrocatalytic nitrogen reduction
Applied Catalysis B: Environmental
School of Engineering
Australian Research Council
ARC Numbers : DP170104264, DP190103548
© 2020 Elsevier B.V. Electrocatalytic nitrogen reduction in ambient condition has received enormous attention for sustainable ammonia production. Apart from catalyst development, this promising route is confronted with considerable technical and scientific challenges, e.g., the ubiquity of ammonia contaminations, and the reliability of analysis methods for products. Herein, using indophenol blue method as a paradigm, its accuracy and reproducibility challenged by several interference factors are firstly scrutinized. The presence and levels of various contamination sources are then deliberately identified. Also, the specific experimental operations with the regulation of gas flow, stirring and temperature are systematically practised. Based on the experimental explorations together with recent advances in the field, we propose a flow chart that provides some critical recommendations to conduct rigorous and consistent operations in electrocatalytic nitrogen reduction. This may help the beginners avoid common pitfalls and urge the community to pay more attention to other significant aspects (e.g., catalyst design and reaction kinetics).